This Is Who I Am

An Instagram friend shared a post in which she was asked to list “10 things I am.” I found the idea intriguing, because once I stopped actively practicing law, I lost my sense of self, and honestly, have been floundering to find myself again. This exercise reminds me of who I am at my very core, and what is important to me.

1.) I AM proud to be a native New Orleanian. I was blessed to be born and raised there. Growing up, the city was my world, and I never dreamed of ever leaving my city, my family and my friends. Unfortunately, I had to leave, because I could not find a job in New Orleans. I have been in Texas since 1981, but New Orleans will always be my heart home.

2.) I AM a meditator. Since December 2013, I have meditated every day.

3.) I AM an attorney licensed by the State of Texas, but because of the pain caused by fibromyalgia, I was forced to stop practicing law, and go on “inactive” status with the State Bar.

4.) I AM easily obsessed. My current obsessions are crystal and rocks, succulents, art supplies, lavender, orange blossom and sweet jasmine scented candles, my beautiful grands, essential oils, books, gray clothing, writing, and container gardening.

5.) I AM an artist. I have been away from painting and drawing for health-related reasons, but they are an integral part of me, and I feel the pull to return to created my art.

6.) I AM a highly sensitive person (HSP), and an introvert, with slight extrovert tendencies. As such, I am very empathetic, crave silence, and welcome my alone time. Also, I believe in the cathartic affect of tears.

7.) I AM blessed to be my Mother’s daughter, because she is MY HERO. My father abandoned us on my birthday, five days before Christmas. He left her to raise three girls, five and under, on her own, without a job. Soon after the holidays, she went to work as a cook for one of the many Catholic elementary schools in New Orleans. The pay was meager, so, over the years, she simultaneously worked 2-3 additional low wage jobs, in order to clothe and feed us, keep a roof over our heads, and provide us with the best education that she could afford. Yes, we were poor, but we always had what we needed. I admired her sense of grace and pride. She could have easily qualified for governmental assistance, but she said that as long as she could work, she would never take handouts from anyone. I’d be satisfied with a mere fraction of her strength, compassion, determination, beauty, honesty and grace. In the face of much sadness and adversity, she has always maintained an unyielding trust and faith in God.

8.) I AM a staunch proponent for equality. I believe that no one should be discrimnated against, ostracized, or singled out for unequal attention, because of his/her gender, age, race, national origin, disability, sexual or gender preference, religious preference, weight or political affiliation. I believe in, and respect the right of everyone to believe and live as they chose, so long as it is done so, with respect for others and without causing harm or animus to others.

9.) I AM one who believes in a world where there is no homelessness, hunger, war, unequal education opportunities, unequal housing opportunities, unequal job opportunities, where the top 1% richest Americans do not hold more wealth than the bottom 90% of Americans, and where the bottom 90% do not hold 73% of the countries debt. I believe in a world where no one is forced to chose between purchasing crucial medication or food, where everyone has insurance so that money need not dictate who lives and who dies, and where there are no school or mass shootings. I believe in equal pay for equal work, and a living wage for all. I believe in a world in which hospitals and insurance companies are forced to price services and medications at a price point that is fair to all. Finally, I believe in a world where everyone is entitled to his/her opinions or beliefs, as long as those beliefs do not infringe upon the rights listed in point 8.

10.) I AM a believer in hugs and “I love yous,” as often as possible,  because no one of us is promised the next minute.

11.) I AM determined to leave this world, better than I found it.

12.) I AM a believer in the power of prayer, hope, faith and the love of God.

13.) I AM a believer in standing up for what is right, even though I might stand alone.

14.) I AM a believer in the power of love to heal and change lives

15.) I AM a  blend of my positive traits, that I readily embrace, and the negative ones, which I tend to shoo like pesky flies, hoping they will go away, so I am not forced to delve into them. Well, they don’t. In fact, the more that I swat them away, the more that they return, undeterred.

Just as there is no light, without the dark, no highs, without the lows, and happy, without the sad, there are positives and negatives within each of us. We desperately try to cling to the positives, while ignoring the negatives, so that we won’t have to face them, i.e., face ourselves. They will not be ignored and until we take the time to acknowledge, accept and determine their reason for being, we cannot hope to know and appreciate all the facets of who we are. Both make us who we are.

Well, this is a partial list of who “I AM,” and it was a perfect exercise to remind of my true self, whether I am a lawyer, an artist or a role, yet to be determined. I am a woman of conviction, obsessions, compassion, kindness, hopes, dreams, love, and faith; however, I am also a woman with fears, worries, doubts, self-sabotaging tendencies and more. They are all within me, and I am okay with that.

#whoami #thisisme #selfinquiry #myheromymother #ibelieveinequality #ibelieveinstandingupforwhatisright #iamagainstdiscrimnationofalltypes #theperfectworld #nohunger #nowar #nodiscrimination #genderequity #equality #nohomelessness #insuranceforall #equaleducationforall #wearebothlightanddark 

Quote Tuesday

Colors

You can build a future out of anything. A scrap, a flicker.
The desire to go forward, slowly, one foot at a time.  ~Lauren Oliver

 

Calling All Angels

As a child, one of the very first prayers that I memorized was: 

“Guardian angel, my guardian dear. For whose God’s love, entrusts me here. Ever this day, be at my side. To light and guard to rule and guide. Amen.”  

To my young, innocent self, the prayer served as a balm against my fears, and an assurance that no matter what, I was loved and protected. What a gift to a young child — the gift of peace of mind. As I grew older and much more skeptical, my belief in angels is as strong as ever.  I believe that there are angels about us, some seen and unseen, at the ready, looking out for us and ready to protect us at a split seconds notice. I can think of numerous instances when I am convinced that they have protected me from harm. It appears that I am not alone; since over 50% of Americans hold similar beliefs. http://j.mp/pI3FcE


So, when I happened upon this song, the title alone piqued my interest.  The song, “Calling All Angels,” by Jane Siberry, is a hauntingly beautiful song that, for me, conveys numerous messages about life, how we view it and how we live it.  As an initial matter, it is a reminder that as we travel along our journey, though we may feel lonely, we need never be alone. Whatever our circumstance, we are never alone in this world. Next, we “call our angels,” not with the expectation that they will shield or prevent life’s eventualities, but, among other things, as a source of strength, guidance, support, and compassion, so that we might better face life’s challenges. 


In addition, and I believe, the most crucial message: some suffering and pain is largely unavoidable– that is a fact of life.  We will experience “the lows,” whether we choose to call them challenges, obstacles, pains, or whatever, it simply does not matter.  You must and will face them.  In life, we cannot experience the highs without the challenges wrought by “the lows.”  They are indeed two sides of the same coin, and there is no one without the other. It is by facing and overcoming the struggles, obstacles and pains, that we are provided the opportunity to achieve growth, understanding and wisdom. It is through our bouts with such obstacles that the highs are even sweeter. 


I hope that this song reaches the ears of anyone who feels lost, abandoned, and alone in what can sometimes seem a lonely and uncaring world. Perhaps, he or she will come to understand that even in the midst of their  darkest days, there is always light, since where there is darkness, there is also light.  They, too, are two sides of the same coin. 


Blessings, love, and light, lydia 



Calling All Angels lyrics

Santa Maria, Santa Teresa, Santa Anna, Santa Susannah
Santa Cecilia, Santa Copelia, Santa Domenica, Mary Angelica
Frater Achad, Frater Pietro, Julianus, Petronilla
Santa, Santos, Miroslaw, Vladimir
and all the rest


a man is placed upon the steps, a baby cries
and high above the church bells start to ring
and as the heaviness the body oh the heaviness settles in
somewhere you can hear a mother sing


then it’s one foot then the other as you step out onto the road
how much weight? how much weight?
then it’s how long? and how far?
and how many times before it’s too late?


calling all angels
calling all angels
walk me through this one
don’t leave me alone
calling all angels
calling all angels
we’re cryin’ and we’re hurtin’
and we’re not sure why..


and every day you gaze upon the sunset
with such love and intensity
it’s almost…it’s almost as if
if you could only crack the code
then you’d finally understand what this all means


but if you could…do you think you would
trade in all the pain and suffering?
ah, but then you’d miss
the beauty of the light upon this earth
and the sweetness of the leaving


calling all angels
calling all angels
walk me through this one
don’t leave me alone
callin’ all angels
callin’ all angels
we’re tryin’
we’re hopin’
we’re hurtin’
we’re lovin’
we’re cryin’
we’re callin’
’cause we’re not sure how this goes.





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First An Apology; Then an Explanation

Since I’d been all but AWOL for the past couple of months, I feel that I owe you an explanation and a sincere apology.  On June 7th, I had surgery to remove the pain pump that I discussed here in my June 6, 2011 post.  Unfortunately, the recovery was not as easy as I’d been led to believe and it brought fever  and additional pain that made it impossible for me to do anything for weeks.  As if that were not enough, about a month prior to the surgery,  my fibromyalgia pain began to inexplicably increase and morphed into whole body muscle spasms that affected my entire body, from head to toe.  I was doing hours of meditation and relaxing yoga poses, as well as ice, heat, herbal remedies, homeopathic remedies, and prescription medication, but nothing helped.  By the time that I began to heal from the surgery, the muscle spasms began to really take hold and I had no energy to do anything–standing was painful and exhausting,  even driving was impossible.
My daughter took me to my primary care doctor and he ordered blood work.  I went in for the blood work on Saturday and was surprised to hear from my doctor on Monday.  Apparently, my muscle enzymes should be in the 13-200 range.  Mine were over 1300!  My doctor believes that this is the source of the muscle spasms that I’ve been experiencing for at least a month and a half and the overwhelming exhaustion, (much worse than that caused by fibromyalgia) that I have been unable to shake.  He has removed me from three medications that may be the source of the problems.  I retest in a month and pray that all will be well.
I did not intend to be away from my blog for so long, and I have truly missed it.  I have had ample time for reflection, too much in fact.  Among other things, I thought about this blog and its place in my life, since I created it last year.  It began as one of those things that I’ve always wanted to do,  and after being diagnosed with the pulmonary emboli, it became time to stop thinking and to start doing.  As a result, Seeking My Querencia was born.
At first, I viewed this blog “as a repository for some of my thoughts, ideas, musings and others items of interest.  It is but a small part of my journey-another avenue for me to write down my feelings and perhaps share them with others so that they might know the authentic me.” See “More About Me” Page. I am coming to see it as much more than that now. At this time in my life, I am awash in struggles concerning not only my health, but my place in the world, how to move forward in my life, where can I use my abilities to best serve myself and others, and other weighty, and not so weighty issues.  Right now, I believe that this blog is the perfect forum for me to address many of these concerns, if for no other reason than to get them down in black and white, so to speak.  By doing so, I fight against my tendency to keep the uncomfortable thoughts and feelings inside where they fester and grow into matters of far greater import.  In addition, this inner journey that I travel towards that inner place where I know exactly who I am  requires that I be as honest as possible with my thoughts and feelings and it is through this blog that I’ve found that voice.  Granted, it is difficult at times, but then, isn’t that the way it is with anything worth doing?
I hope that you will be patient with me as I ease my way back onto my journey.  Thank you for sharing it with me.  
Blessings and love, lydia